31 March 2015

Our version of a Mindful Meaningful Easter part 2

Easter is upon us!! You can read about the gifts we give here. This year they are getting a book, some art stuff or lego and a wooden animal made by their dad. I still haven't made any chocolate.... oops.......

As I said in Part 1, we want Easter to be a celebration of the colder months. We do this by making food gifts for the animals. We make bird feeders and do little food scrap parcels for the hedgehogs and such. Then we put them out on Easter sunday.

We always do an egg hunt with clues. Last year we did eggs with stamps/stickers/coins etc.. inside. You can also do a puzzle piece in each one then make the puzzle together at the end. This year each clue will have an ingredient with it and the last clue will be a recipe which the children will make with me and my husband. I have found a vintage 3d Rabbit cake mould, so we will make some honey sweetened chocolate buttercream so they can give him some fur!

Our most treasured tradition is the Wish bunny. I can't remember where I first read about him but it is what the kids get most excited about! He arrived one year with a note from the Easter Bunny, he was to stay with us for a few days and show the children how wonderful it is to have a generous and thoughtful spirit. He does this by giving them ideas on how to be kind to each other (and us) by tidying each others rooms or telling each other what we like about them for example. He gives us messages on the importance of growing our own food and we in turn plant some seeds or some seedlings we have been taking care of. This also reinforces how the seasons influence what we plant and why we eat according to the seasons. Then lastly on the day before (he is supposed to) leave the children can make two wishes, one for them and one for someone else. They can also gift him with something they no longer use so that he can take it away to give to children who need it if they want to. And I then take these to the salvation army. Now, mr wish bunny was supposed to leave after easter the first year he came, but Isabelle was so in love with him that he never left and she has taken him to bed every night since. So he's looking pretty 'well loved' now and instead disappears in the lead up to easter and reappears on Easter sunday morning!

So these are our traditions, do you do something similar?

16 March 2015

The First Time

We donned Bee suits and examined our Hive for the first time this weekend. We've read and googled and read some more but nothing can quite prepare for the reality of so many bee's. It was fascinating and we spent time just watching the behaviour of our little friends (because anyone who shares their honey with me must be called a friend, no?). 

  Josh is highly allergic to stings and was a bit nervous so he had overalls over his suits and taped the wrists and ankles, and I didn't even think until we had finished how hot it must have been with all those layers on!

  We had already taken off 18 kg when the Hive was moved here so this was more about making sure they have enough food for the winter and applying treatment for Varroa. We still managed to get 3 large glass jars worth to add to our own winter stores but the real treat came from including the children, they were so excited and got a swipe of honey each straight from the frame. Lucky things!!

10 March 2015

Our version of a mindful meaningful Easter Part 1

While I'm waiting for my new card reader (because recipes and family posts with no pictures would be lame). I thought you might be interested to know how we choose to celebrate Easter. This time of year in the southern Hemisphere is tricky because traditionally we would be looking forward to spring, new life, getting the garden ready, sewing seeds, basically all the things that Easter time represents for those of us who aren't traditional Christians.

I've split it into two posts as it would be rather long and for Part One I am going to share some ideas for gifts (if that's part of your celebration). We choose to do a wee gift basket purely for the joy of it. We use Easter as a time to embrace and welcome the change in seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere winter brings with it the promise of Christmas, St Nicholas day, New years and so on but here in New Zealand it can be (dare I say it?) depressing, with only cold and rain to look forward to. So Easter for us is just an excuse to indulge our children a little with some magic, mystery and a gift or two. We like to keep them handmade, NZ made or in keeping with our personal lifestyle choices (i.e: no dvd's or processed foods, nature inspired and so on).

Here a some lovely handmade gifts, we have a few of these and we will have another one of the Forager bags soon for Aria's birthday. I would much rather pay someone personally for their time and effort than a big business or corporation.

Books are a timeless addition to the home and I always include one in any gift! This year they will be getting a book, a handmade wooden animal by their dad, something crafty and (hopefully) some homemade chocolate because I just cant find any chocolate that is 'Eastery' and without sugar or other 'sweetener's like Malitol? If you know of any please share! Or if you make it, I could pay you so I don't have to find the time haha!

I absolutely love anything by Elsa Beskow and Jan Brett. Mommies say Shh is real favourite here too!

Flower or vegetable seeds are a great gift! You can get these ones here. My 1 year old loves wooden pegs, so a pack of these and pot is all she needs! You can get these ones online here, or I think they are cheaper at Mitre 10. And another lovely idea is a thrifted or handmade Apron with a recipe that you can make together.

In part two I will talk about our traditions and how we celebrate Easter time. Do you do Easter in your home?